“Shag” Shaughnessy


Last week was a bit slower than usual, but I still made some excellent finds. I pulled this Hitachi camcorder out of a bin in Hampstead on Monday – my only notable find of the night.


It uses Video 8 film and has an LCD screen. One just like it sold for for 100$ + shipping on eBay.


It works fine when plugged in, but the battery is completely dead. However, it costs only 23$ to find a new one on eBay. All in all, this camcorder should net me around 70$. Not bad!


I came across what looked to be some spring cleaning casualties on Tuesday night. From this pile I saved …


a nice vintage lamp …


and two nice pairs of boots. I sold one pair at my yard sale this weekend for 5$.


This lamp, also quite nice, sat all by itself in front of a different house. I get the impression that they left it out for someone to find, as there wasn’t a single other thing on the curb.


A little carpet sat atop a trash can at yet another place. It was missing the tassels on its longer sides, but was nice looking otherwise.


A familiar spot produced my favorite finds of the week, however. I took the laundry basket and the chair on the far right side of the photo.


I found a few books in one bag, including this 1909 copy of “Songs of a Sourdough” by Robert Service …


and a 1913 Boston cooking school cook book.


Inside the front cover of the cook book was this “Millionaire Fruit Cake” recipe, which curiously contains no fruit and calls for mince meat. It was written in type by Marven’s Limited of Moncton, New Brunswick.


Near the bottom of the bag was this old poem, “Life’s Mysteries” …


which was cut out of some kind of religious newspaper in 1907.


Another bag contained a collection of old photos, as well as many photocopies related to genealogy. It was apparent that someone put a lot of effort into researching their family history.


Some of the pictures were pretty cute. On the back of this one is written “2 years old August 1st 1918” and “taken June 31st 1918.”


The two photos on the left were glued to a piece to paper. They were printed on cardboard, as was the style in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The note says “the one in parts was taken with (Dony?) and I cut him out.” The photo on the right has clear tape on the top and bottom, which can’t be taken off without ripping the paper. I could trim off the bits that aren’t attached, though.


There was an old family portrait, as well as a photocopy of this same shot.


This old postcard has an address in Yonkers, New York written on the back. I looked it up and the house looks more or less the same! I wonder what the (presumably new) owner would think if they got this in the mail.


Another old postcard was my favourite find of the week. It features a group shot of the Ottawa “base-ball” team that won the Canadian League championship in 1913. The Canadian League was a minor league that operated somewhat intermittently from the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was largely based in southern Ontario.

The most notable individual in the photo is likely Frank “Shag” Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy had a long career in several different sports, not only as a player but also as a manager and executive. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1963, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, and the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame in 1997. The annual football game played between McGill and Concordia Universities is called the Shaughnessy Cup in his honour. He served as a player-manager on this Ottawa team, but also worked for the Ottawa Senators, Detroit Tigers, Montreal Royals, and many other teams.

It was just the other day I posted to Facebook expressing my hope to find more baseball related stuff this year! This is definitely the sort of thing I’d keep if I were rich, but I’m definitely not there yet so I’ll likely end up selling it. This postcard sold for 25$, despite the fact that it was sold at auction (which is rarely the best way to make top dollar for your item) and features unknown players on a obscure league. I’d start this card at 100$, maybe a little bit more and adjust the price if it takes a while to sell.


Otherwise, I saved a few things in Cote St-Luc, including a box of camera flash bulbs …


and the last edition of the Montreal Star, which was one of Montreal’s most popular English newspapers from 1869 to September 25th, 1979. Note that someone added the word “last” to the newspaper’s title. Maybe I’ll see if I can get anything for it on eBay. I also have the last postscipt edition.

This week has been super busy so far. If it keeps up, I might have to divide it all into two posts! And to think it’s not even the end of the month.

In other news…

I’ve been doing more Facebook posts recently, many of which features finds that didn’t quite make the blog. I don’t like making posts too long, so this is a good way get those “bonus finds” out there. I’ve also been more active posting links related to garbage and recycling. You can see my Facebook page here (and you don’t need a Facebook account to check it out!).

Last week’s garbage sales (April 6 – April 12)


1. Yard sales: 473.75$ (206.50$ on Saturday, 267.25$ on Sunday). My first yard sales of the season went off without a hitch! I unloaded a lot of stuff, which felt great after being stuck with it all winter. I sold alongside a couple of friends who were moving, which was fun. Thanks to the readers that came to check it out! I’ll likely have another in a few weeks.

2. Minolta motor drive: On eBay for 25$. Sometimes I sell things not really knowing what they do. All I know is that it was camera related, and that I’d had for a while.


3. Two La Castillere minature perfume bottles: On eBay for 67$. The customer has since sent me a message asking for a partial refund (half) due to the fact that one of the bottles was broken. However, the bottle was cracked when I found it and I made sure to mention this defect in the listing details. I guess she just didn’t read them! I offered to refund her 15$, but noted that the item was in the condition I described. That was Sunday night, and now it’s Wednesday afternoon so maybe she realized her error. Regardless, I’ll let you know if I end up refunding any of the total.

4. Vintage Telefunken Partner 500 shortwave radio: On eBay for 100$. This is a nice little radio! I had it for a while before finally listing it in November. I think I found it along with a bunch of other electronics in Outremont back in September of 2013, but I’m not sure.

5. Signed 1969 "Temptations" program: On eBay for 75$. Found in Snowdon in May of last year, though it was only listed in the past couple of months.


6. DSM II (1968): On eBay for 280$. A nice sale! Found nearly a month ago in Mount Royal.

7. Silver ring (40$), strawberry shaped rhinestone brooch (20$): to a reader for 60$. She saw them on Etsy, but since she lived not far away I was able to deliver them myself. I found the ring in Rosemont a couple summers ago, while I don’t remember exactly where the brooch came from.

8. Vintage micro-mosaic pendant: On Etsy for 24$. Found at that same spot in Rosemont.

Total: 1105.75$, 15180.75$ since May 18 2014 and 5497.75$ since the new year began. A great week! Being able to have yard sales definitely the profit margins. This was my first week of four figure profits since around Christmas.

It’s looking like I’ll make around 16k for the year (ending May 18th, when I started keeping better track in 2014). It’s below the poverty line, but I’m still pretty proud of the achievement. I basically make as much as I would doing full-time minimum wage work, but I’m saving really cool stuff from destruction, doing my part for the environment, and above all doing something I love. With my relatively low expenses, I’ve been able to live comfortably, if not luxuriously, which is good enough for me.

I’m hoping to crack 20k this year. From the early going, it looks like I’ll have a good chance! That’s still not a tonne of money or anything, but it would put me above the poverty line.

New listings

1. Songs of a Sourdough – 1909
2. 1970s Parti Quebecois election sign + folk art mural (I priced this high partly because I like it so much. I wasn’t able to find anything similar for sale on the internet, but I’m guessing there’s a market here. Whether or not that market will pay 300$, that’s another thing. I can always lower my price later, though).
3. Vintage 1969 Owen Wood Zodiac Poster
4. 7 Vintage / Antique Sex Psychology books (6 by Havelock Ellis), 1913-1928
5. Vintage Arne Johansen Danish modernist ewelry set (Currently the most expensive thing I have listed on eBay).

Email and links

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I also enjoy reading your comments! I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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35 thoughts on ““Shag” Shaughnessy”

  1. Hi there…just wanted to let you know that mince meat is defined as “Minced meat; meat chopped very fine; a mixture of boiled meat, suet, apples, etc., chopped very fine, to which spices and raisins are added; — used in making mince pie.” I’m not a fan. Yuck!

    1. Oh, there’s a little more: It doesn’t necessarily include meat. Still yuck!

      1. Mincemeat (as opposed to minced meat) is a thing in the uk. Theres no meat in it. We have mince pies at christmas, they are sweet mini tarts. Using mincemeat to make a fruit cake sounds like a good use for it.

        1. I think it would be nice, similar to a very dark fruit cake. and probably quite moist ……..wonder where the idea that boiled meat is used originated from…lol

  2. I just discovered why I wasn’t getting notifications from your ‘Things I Find in the Garbage’ FaceBook page. Duh! Life’s a learning curve.

    OMG, that first lamp is pure early 1970s vintage.

    I remember when the Montreal Star stopped printing. A sad day. I’d always preferred it to the Gazette back in the day. (And the Expos are on the top of the page!)

    It looks like you had a great weekend for your successful yard sales. T’is good. 🙂

    Not a lot of finds, but some interesting ones.

  3. re -1913 Boston cooking school cook book.,
    you know, I have the idea
    that with all the homesteaders (yes is now a BIG movement, even in Canada), preppers, back to the earthers, going on,
    that old cookbooks like that are now, once more in demand. Folks have a nostalgia for old recipes, even if they are not in any of the homesteading type movements.

    also, I think (you would have to check), but I think copy right etc is well past done on that age of cookbook, and you could re publish it, yourself, for your own profit. I have heard lots of folks publishing online, etc, might be worth a look see.

    pictures and genealogy

    you know, it breaks my heart to think someone went to such trouble to have someone thoughtlessly chuck it,

    again, of course you can save the pictures/notes/etc/ maybe for a future book,
    if you just want to do a kindness (someone might pay a small amount)
    you could post your findings on some of the genealogy forums, with names / dates that you have there, and maybe with a note saying you would like some payment.

    if it was me, and I had a chance to get some old family photos, I would gladly pay, probably MUCH more than you would suspect. Folks like me who do not have many of these photos, would too, I would think.

    (In fact, why don’t you set up a link on here, with listings of any names on the photos, quite frankly you might get some customers right here off of your readers. If fate happened to have some of my ancestors “picked up” by you, I would)

    1. Yeah, I hear ya. It’s always kind of sad – just wait til you see next week’s post!

      I don’t have much time to do anything other than what I’m already doing unfortunately (unless it involves storing things until I’m rich and can quit working, ha ha). There’s not enough money in it for it to be really worth capitalizing on.

      My friend Sarah though recently offered to scan some and put them online, which would be nice. She was thinking they could go on some genealogy websites. I’d like that, and it’s something I would do if I had more time.

      1. well, I understand it takes time, but if any chance you or Sarah could make up a list of the names, and post in this blog, I would appreciate it.

        don’t know why, but I keep thinking someday you are/may have come across some pics of relatives, and it would be wonderful to have access to purchase the pics. I realize they often won’t have names, but quite often names are written on backs/etc.

        please consider the list of names, thanks

      2. also, if Sarah is able to post the names on genealogy sites, please let me /your readers know, so we / I can check there to see if any names are familiar. thanks.

  4. Yes, Fonda is right as mince meat is mostly fruit. But it started as meat chopped with fats, suet usually, with some fruit added but as it progressed through the years it increasingly had less and less meat in it and is now usually all fruit with added fats. : )

    1. Fonda implies that mincemeat has finely chopped meat in it…..Mincemeat has NO meat in it… and probably hasn’t since the 17th century, at least not in the UK… it has suet quite often vegetarian which is also used in dumplings (sweet as well as savoury), raisins, currants, sultanas (golden raisins) grated apple, almonds, sugar orange and lemon peel and brandy. plus spices such as cinnimon and ground mixed spice.

      Mince Meat is ground meat:).

  5. Great blog, as always!
    As a (former) fellow eBay Seller, I recommend adding “Damaged” to your Listing Title for condition issues like your perfume bottles. Even though you have it in the Description, eBay has been known to side with the Buyer and issue full returns/ ding your % rate. Putting it in the Description makes it much more difficult for the Buyer to claim “Item Not As Described”. I hope this one works out in your favor!

  6. I’ve been doing more Facebook posts recently, many of which features finds that didn’t quite make the blog. I don’t like making posts too long, so this is a good way get those “bonus finds” out there.

    Why not post them here, even as shorter posts, and Publicize them to Facebook? 🙂

    1. I’ve thought about that too. I guess I mostly think of each blog post as a weekly “chapter” or sorts, and in that case small posts break that continuity. I might just be stubborn, though, ha ha.

      1. Right, I get that! But not everyone goes on Facebook; I’ve been pretty much avoiding it for a while now. In any case, it’s your call, of course! 🙂

  7. (1) I’m super impressed by the $280 for the DSM II. This has me wondering how much my trashpicked DSM III is worth.

    (2) Just want to break it to you gently that the Fannie Farmer Cookbook is sort of like the Bible: It’s out there in a bunch of different editions. Your 1913 might be worth a little more than the average, but it looks as if it also has some condition issues. I like the recipe tucked into it, though. Reminds me of my mother’s 1943 Joy of Cooking, stuffed with every recipe she’d ever cut out of a newspaper.

    1. I’m not sure how much that’d be worth. I tried looking on eBay for one but couldn’t find any to compare it to.

      I don’t think the farmer cookbook is worth much. Nice yard sale material though.

  8. Wonderful as always. Some people will buy genealogy stuff on eBay – it might be worth listing for a modest price if the surname is there. It would be amazing if you actually resent that postcard!

  9. You should totally mail out that house postcard in an envelope with a note saying where/how you found it and a link to your blog. I’d love to hear if they ever contact you about it. My house is over 100 years old and I wish I knew what it has looked like inside and out throughout all those years, I’d love to get something like that in the mail 🙂

  10. I’m with Cindy. I think it would be a hoot to send it off to the current home owners.

    Family photos. It also breaks my heart that family members don’t want them. My Mom died 6 years ago and my sister 4.5 months later. I have all of Mom’s photo albums (from before she was married) and all the family ones. I’m reaching an age where I’m now drastically trying to get rid of and/or give away a lot of my belongings. Nobody wants them. On Mom’s side of the family there weren’t that many of us and I’ve tried everyone there. For the photos of before Mom married most of the people in the photos are gone now. I’ve tried to track down some of their family but so far no luck. I did think of checking with the museum in her home town to see if they might want them or at least some of them. I’ll keep trying.

    The photo that you’re showing as a family portrait I’m wondering if it might be something else. Possibly a graduation picture. The young ladies are all dressed in white with what are probably red roses and the men all have certificates of some kind. I thought nursing but back then (whenever “then” was) the nurses graduated in their uniforms including their caps and usually with an armful of red roses. My aunt was a nurse and I still have a copy of her graduation picture. I thought it might be something to think of.

    I have to tell you I look forward to your emails. I’m somewhat quirky and have always liked to do things in order no matter what it was but when I see your email I always read it first. I’ve learned to much from you. We moved around a lot when I was a kid (Dad was in the Canadian army) and it never failed that I would always miss Canadian history. So I’m ashamed to say I know very little of Canadian history. American and especially English and Scottish I know about. So you’ve helped tremendously.

    I’m trying to get up my nerve the go out and treasure hunt as you are doing. I’ve even gone so far as to get the garbage schedule. But here in London they do garbage pick up weirdly. It isn’t on the same day every week. If there is a holiday of any kind there is no pick up, of course. Instead of leaving 2 weeks or 1.5 weeks in between pick ups they move the pick up day to the next. Let’s say August holiday. Always a Monday. So then the regular pick up would move to the Tuesday and stay the Tuesday until the next holiday and then it would move to the Wednesday. Crazy!!! And at Christmas it moves over two days and then with New Years right there it will actually move over another day. That’s 3 days in the space of a week. Weird, just plain weird.

    Well, done on your first yard sale of the year.

    All the best,

    1. Glad you enjoy receiving my emails! It’s also good to hear that I’ve taught you something. Sounds like a weird trash schedule, good luck figuring that out. At least it’s only a once a week pickup. There are many neighborhoods here that are twice a week, which makes working them a lot harder for no extra gain. I tend to prefer the places that only do pickups once a week

    1. I have one actually, paid 75$ for it. Not too many people giving them away in these parts I think, though I can’t say I check the free section too often. I plan on doing a bit more biking now that it’s warm out (and I got myself a new used bike).

      1. well, glad you have one, but still, keep it in mind..

        I have been looking for some particular items for someone who is ill, and check the local kijiji free section each time I am on the computer

        I am STUNNED at what folks are giving away free/just glad someone can use.

        I have seen many of these for free, as well as similar for twins, and so much more.

        worth a quick look. Of course, you have to be the first one to reply, but …sometimes one gets very lucky.

  11. A lot of people are dumping handbags in good condition in the trash and I just rescued towo of them from the trash a few says ago in NDG.Someone also threw out five to seven black garbage bags full of VHS tapes.I could tell by touching the bags.There were about 20 black garbage bags in that spot,and the rest were apparently full of food waste,yard waste,etc.I could only carry off three VHS tapes at night as I was in a rush to get home.I hope someone opened the garbage bags and rescued many of the VHS tapes before the garbage truck came next morn.There is still demand for VHS tapes.Rescue em,folks.

    1. I see tonnes of VHS tapes, but I rarely take them because I have no storage space. A shame, because some things, even programs recorded off the TV, can be quite rare or valuable. Still, the vast majority are not, and the quality of VCR tapes deteriorates with time.

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